Helen Keller said “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
Definition of success – success for an elite athlete is to win the gold medal, get to the olympics, athletic success for me just means getting to the gym.
Success in life for many ppl money is the scoreboard:
big car big house big wife – we think our personal level of comfort is the scoreboard of success.
We think it’s about us – it is NOT about us!
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
My definition: success is becoming who you were born to be!
All the warfare in hell and on earth is designed to prevent you from doing that – we’re in the midst of that war today in Zimbabwe – they were in that war in Israel 2000 years ago and the government of their day had just allowed the murder of their pastor and friend.
Acts 1:3-5, 2
After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c]
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:
“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’[e]
29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’[f]
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Success – sharing, living in community, no one was in need – the spirit filled life
Urgency – “he warned them and pleaded with them save yourselves from this corrupt generation”
Speaking to us today Zim 157/180 corruption index – save yourselves from this corrupt generation!
What is driving your behavior? Selfishness, greed, desire for comfort?
Success in the last few weeks has been a tank full of gas and a deep freeze full of bread, are we being counter cultural – difference between the behavior of Christians and non?
According to this verse success means a different spirit! Generosity instead of greed, sharing instead of hoarding, selflessness instead of selfishness. This is the Spirit-filled life.
So if we call ourselves Christians we need it! How do we get it?
- Wait on the Lord – 1:4 “wait for the promised Holy Spirit”
- Conviction – 2:37 “pierced to the heart”
- Desire to change “brothers what must we do?” Drunk
- “Repent” – one word answer, simple, straight forward, important! Home late – “How are you doing my darling angel pie you gorgeous beast” If the answer is “fine” – I know I’m in serious trouble and I may need to repent
- Be baptized – if you were baptized as a youngster and then confirmed as a teenager or whatever other religious rituals and acts you participated in that’s fine but… did you mean it! Did your ACTIONS change? Did you begin to operate in a different Spirit? baptism is a public declaration of an inner transformation. If you haven’t been baptized or you have but didn’t mean it – do this! Water – Spirit
- Received the Holy Spirit – devoted themselves to the Gospel, fellowship, breaking bread and prayer.
All these things happened in small groups, in homes, so do this as often as possible – these people lived in community, shared, loved, ministered to one another
Bring and share dinner this week, home group, love, minister, encourage
Meet a need and see how that disarms the spirit of greed!
If you want the Holy Spirit to manifest in your life today please stand up, if you’re a Christian but not sure that you are living the spirit filled life please stand, if you’d like to recommit to the Lord and be transformed by the renewing of your mind – let’s pray together!